13 Hacks to Becoming a Morning Person
If you’re a night owl, chances are you just don’t *get* morning people. Well, with a little dedication and action, you, too, can learn to be more energetic and spritely in the morning. Here are 13 hacks to becoming a morning person.
1. Practice good sleep hygiene
One of the best ways to ensure you’re getting quality, restful sleep is to keep a consistent sleep schedule, which translates into an easier time in the morning. To achieve this, start moving your bedtime forward by just 15 minutes at a time. Otherwise, if you try to change too much too fast, you’ll end up with a fluctuating sleep schedules: sometimes getting to bed at your ideal earlier hour, other times, getting to be too late.
2. Make time for yourself
Cut back on your evening commitments so that you can be sure to have enough time to a.) wind down, b.) do your bedtime routine, and c.) get in bed with some time to spare (before your bedtime goal) because, on average, it takes 15 to 20 minutes to fall asleep. Speaking of bedtime routine.
3. Devise a nightly routine
It’s important to establish and maintain a schedule and routine in order to cue your body up for what’s to come: sleep. For example, maybe you like to have a warm beverage, such as hot decaffeinated tea while reading for 20 minutes before bed each night.
4. Eat (and drink) smart
Some experts caution against going to bed too full or too hungry, because either sensation can cause enough discomfort to keep you awake. Similarly, drinking too much water before bed can cause you to get up in the night to go to the bathroom, interrupting your sleep. Also, keep in mind that caffeine in particular has been shown to interrupt sleep.
5. Power down
Any kind of light can throw off your natural circadian rhythms, making it harder to sleep. Research has shown that the blue light electronics emit, such as laptops and cell phones, negatively impacts sleep. Stop interacting with such devices at least an hour before bed to make it easier to fall asleep.
6. Prepare for the next day
So, what to do with that electronics-free hour? Use that time wisely by preparing for the next morning: packing a healthy lunch, prepping breakfast, packing your gym bag, and setting the coffee timer. It’ll set your mind at ease when you lay your head on the pillow, making it easier to fall asleep as well as making it easier to get up in the morning, knowing that you don’t have to rush around.
7. Set up ideal sleeping conditions
Things like temperature, noise, light and level of comfort can all impact your ability to have restful sleep. A cool, quiet room (around 65 degrees) has been shown to be an effective sleep environment.
In the morning:
8. Set an intention
In order to make real, lasting change, it’s important to have a reason for waking up early. Choose a meaningful goal that’s achievable by starting the day earlier, such as yoga or meditation or else having some extra time to prepare a healthy breakfast.
9. No more ‘snooze’
Those of us non-morning people are always tempted to hit the snooze button, only to find that staying in bed those few extra minutes actually leaves us feeling even groggier. Try this instead: go ahead, hit the snooze, but then remain awake those extra 9 minutes or so. Sit up on the side of the bed and set your intention for the day. Do some light stretching, move around, start brewing coffee – anything to stay awake. By the time the alarm goes off again, you’ll be awake and alert enough to start your day.
10. Bite the bullet
If you naturally wake up before your alarm, it’s tempting to close your eyes and try to take advantage of those few remaining minutes. Don’t do it! You’re better off just getting out of bed. That’s because, when you wake on your own, right before your alarm, you’re likely already in a light sleep stage, which ideal for transitioning into wakefulness. But going back to sleep could send you into a deeper sleep stage, making it harder to wake up and start your day.
11. Change your mindset
When you wake up, think ahead to the good stuff ahead of you to fuel your desire to get up and get started.
12. Eat a healthy breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day yet most people skip this meal, usually because they opt to stay in bed after hitting snooze rather than getting up and preparing a healthy breakfast. Whole grain carbs with protein give you energy and keep you going all morning.
13. Exercise in the morning
*Groan* Night owls have a hard enough time getting up in the morning but, add the idea – no threat – of working out first thing and most will continue their snooze routine. But, early in the morning is when your willpower stores are at their highest, making this an ideal time to do the stuff we don’t always want to do, such as exercise. Come evening, we’re too busy, too tired – whatever the excuse – to get in an exercise session. Another benefit to working out in the morning is that it gives you extra energy to carry you through the day ahead.
Making real, lasting change can be difficult to initiate and to maintain. Having people to support you, guiding the way, can make all the difference. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, help is available. Please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist.